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A technical checkup on SEO basics

The chances are that if a website ticked all the SEO boxes when it was designed, and all that’s happened in the meantime was that more pages have been added, it’s probably fine now too. But we can all sleep easier at night if we do regular checkups.

The best way to do this is to get a professional website audit. This can be a bit hit-or-miss, but the best people are definitely worth their fee.

The DIY approach is to use some of the many tools available; this takes a bit of time and effort, but isn’t too hard. For sites that aren’t excessively large, this can even be done for free, with things like Google Search Console tools, Screaming Frog SEO Spider and the Ahrefs Site Audit tool.

What do we need to check? Here are a few ideas – it’s perhaps not a comprehensive list, but if we pass all these tests, we’re doing pretty well:

  • Are all pages and links HTTPS?
  • Do all the http/https/www-/non-www URLs resolve to a single preference?
  • Are all the pages on the site crawlable by search engines?
  • Is there an up-to-date, accurate sitemap?
  • Can all pages be reached in a reasonable number of clicks (e.g. half a dozen)?
  • Are there any broken internal links?
  • Are there any broken external links?
  • Are there any ‘orphan’ (unlinked) pages?
  • Is Google’s Core Web Vitals rating good?